Two former Oklahoma police officers have been convicted of second-degree murder after they used their Tasers more than 50 times on an unarmed man who died in 2019.
A jury in Carter County, Okla., found 35-year-old Brandon Dingman and 27-year-old Joshua Taylor guilty Friday of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in addition to the second-degree murder charge, according to The New York Times.
The former Wilson Police Department officers are scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 2 and could face sentences of 10 years to life in prison, the Times added.
Taylor and Dingman responded shortly before midnight on July 4, 2019, to a call involving Jared Lakey, 28, allegedly “acting in a disorderly way.”
During a nine-minute-long incident after Lakey did not comply with verbal commands, Dingman is accused of having "deployed his taser 23 times," and Taylor was said to have "deployed his taser 30 times," court documents indicated.
An affidavit regarding the incident said that body camera footage showed that the victim never struck, grabbed or made any aggressive move toward either Dingman or Taylor.
Lakey became unresponsive shortly after he was taken into custody, dying two days later.
Prosecutors called the use of Tasers "dangerous and unnecessary" and argued it was a “substantial factor" in Lakey's death, the Times reported.
Spencer Bryan, a lawyer for Lakey’s family, said his clients were "grateful to the jury and prosecution for taking these officers off the streets," according to the newspaper.
Shannon McMurray, an attorney for Dingman, called the verdict "a tragedy for everybody," per the Times.
Meanwhile, Warren Gotcher, Taylor's lawyer, added that his client would appeal the decision, claiming Lakey’s heart health played a role in his death.
“No one could look at him and tell that he had that much of a diseased heart,” Gotcher said, according to the Times.
While a medical examiner's autopsy found that Lakey had an enlarged heart and critical coronary artery disease prior to his death, it also reported that the officers’ use of electrical weapons and restraint as contributing to Lakey’s passing.